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Once relegated to the fringes of society, transhumanism (the use of technology to enhance human intellectual and physical capability) is now poised to enter our cultural mainstream. It has found adherents in Silicon Valley billionaires Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis. Google has entered the picture, establishing a bio-tech subsidiary aimed at solving the problem of aging.
In To Be a Machine, journalist Mark O'Connell takes a headlong dive into this burgeoning movement. He travels to the laboratories, conferences, and basements of today's foremost transhumanists, where he's presented with the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries of new technologies like mind uploading, artificial superintelligence, cryonics, and device implants.
A contributor to Slate, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine, O'Connell serves as a sharp and lively guide to the outer limits of technology in the twenty first century. In investigating what it means to be a machine, he offers a surprising, singular meditation on what it means to be human."
|Title||:||To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
April 20, 2017
"Flesh is a dead format."
Remember Krang? He was an enemy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a disembodied brain who paraded around in a human-shaped exo-suit after his alien form had been destroyed. Just a fun cartoon, right? Well it may be closer to reality than we thought. Shredder's pal migh...
June 10, 2017
In parts tongue and cheek, in parts chiliastic, in parts tech writing this book on transhumanism are the musings of an ordinary Joe (if a creative writer can be considered an ordinary Joe) on the technological apocalyptic movement. The transhumanist really believes we can transcend the flesh via...
June 24, 2017
Nowadays technology is pervasive; you are rarely more than a few feet away from a smartphone or some sort of internet-enabled device. But there are some people out there who want to take it further, much, much further. Not only do they want to embrace technology, but quite a few of them want to a...
June 10, 2017
"Flesh is a dead format".
Death has interested philosophers and scientists alike. Confronting it with modern medicine and making peace with this bitter truth of life are two principal ways of dealing with it. Transhumanism is a movement that aims to push the boundaries of science to the extent of...
July 31, 2017
Absolutely brilliant; a breathtaking read. I'll be thinking about the ideas in this book (so beautifully expressed and analyzed!) for a long, long time.
We exist, we humans, in the wreckage of an imagined splendor. It was not supposed to be this way: we weren't supposed to be weak, to be ashamed,...
September 29, 2017
Well written book covering a variety of topics. The cost of cryogenically freezing one's head for example, or why a person might cut his own arm open to implant a computer into his flesh. The author clearly has some misgivings about much of the subject matter that he covers, but he manages to do...
February 26, 2017
I recently read a lot of book involving transhumanism and the overcoming of our biology that "obliges" us to die. This book is one of the most complete: starting from implants, going trough brain emulation, Kurzweil and the sigularity, gives us a good and clear vision of what it is all about. Int...
August 07, 2017
Freelance reporter Mark O'Connell writes about the transhumanist movement in this book. Essentially, he closely examines individuals who are interested in transcending biology through advances in technology, including cyborgs, utopians, hackers, and futurists. O'Connell really examines the attemp...
July 09, 2017
Transhumanism is a field of belief and hope that, while small in membership and hard to define, has an outsized impact on what we imagine the future will be like, and how money is spent to create it. Mark O'Connell does an excellent job of highlighting the libertarian strain running through the h...
August 13, 2017
"A rebellion against human existence as it has been given"
So Transhumanism is described at the beginning of this book. The author is fascinated with the movement, one that suggests a future where our flawed human bodies will be obsolete, and we will live on forever as machines.